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Dancing with Your Muse by Gilda Joffe

Gilda Joffe has lived a creative life. She is a graduate of The Julliard School, an executive coach for women, and as a violinist, Gilda performed in North America and Europe and around the world. She has written an excellent book for other creative people, focusing on some key areas of common anxiety, such as patterns of fear and how to change these inhibitors to a positive outcome, dealing with criticism, and success in its different guises.

I particularly enjoyed the chapter about criticism and whether external criticism is helpful or hurtful. Gilda is very wise when she talks about looking into the person’s background doing the critique, as often they don’t have real expertise in your area, or they simply don’t have your best interests at heart.

I also really enjoyed the chapter about mistakes and them being the best way to success, and here are a couple of great quotes:

‘I always go back to my grandmother’s advice to me the first time I fell and hurt myself.’ She said to me, “Honey, at least falling on your face is a forward movement.”’ Pat Mitchell.

‘I make more mistakes than anyone else I know, and sooner or later, I patent most of them.’ Thomas A Edison

She also examines performance anxiety and what we can do about it, and she also looks at success and what it really means for a creative person.

This is a beautifully written guide for anyone creative. It will help anyone facing the fear of trying something creative and keeping yourself in balance while pursuing your dreams. Dancing with Your Muse is a must-read for anyone who has ever wanted to express themselves creatively, whether it be ‘through the potter’s wheel, a painting class, designing gardens, writing, playing music, learning a dance, cooking a delicious meal, or a million other possibilities.’

Readable, practical, inspiring and very much recommended!

Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Exisle Publishing


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